Don’t give up

After the late Rev. Jerry Falwell blamed 9-11 on pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays and the ACLU, a little see-through angel appeared in a vision and told me: “It was because you kicked people off welfare.” I Googled it. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, requiring poor families to leave Temporary Assistance to Needy Families within 60 months, was enacted Aug. 22, 1996; 60 months and 20 days later was Sept. 11, 2001.

Who created the housing bubble by speculating in real estate with loans at interest rates lowered by the Fed to prop up the markets after 9-11? People on food stamps?

Who got people to accept sub-prime mortgages with escalating variable rates by claiming the people could get a better mortgage when their home’s value rose due to the bubble? Homeless people?

Who packaged those mortgages, got them inaccurately rated and sold them as securities, creating the credit crunch? Methadone clinics?

Who drastically increased many types of insurance premiums? Planned Parenthood?

Who drove oil up to $145 a barrel in 2008 by speculating on futures contracts? Illegal aliens?

If you’ve been on TANF and injured by putdowns on these pages and by multimillionaires who make their living disparaging the poor — I apologize.

Check out Luke 6:20-26 and Google the Kate Bush-Peter Gabriel video “Don’t Give Up.”

God didn’t begrudge America His help.

Keith C. Taft

Van Buren


Childlike Americans

Finally, a touch of grown-up behavior!

Passengers stop a terrorist with hot underwear on a plane. An adult draws the line with obscene dancing; parents don’t care, so someone has to do it. Massachusetts voters make a grown-up decision to send a better face to Congress?

Now, we need a responsible person to reject, on common sense, a scandalous bonus from a financial institution. Someone in authority needs to tell illegal immigrants to go back where they belong and make their own countries better.

Political correctness should be applied to everyone by everyone, Islamic aggression included. Why the soft glove approach to its anti-Semitic anti-women, and crusade against infidels?

America has survived many wars, slavery, depressions, recessions and concessions; how much more should we endure from an ungrateful, childlike populace?

Lois MacArthur



Paid sick leave

Rep. Mike Thibodeau’s Jan. 27 OpEd piece argued that the paid sick days and “safe day” bill now before the Maine Legislature (LD 1665) would pose unacceptable costs to Maine business.

However, Rep. Thibodeau only considered part of the picture. He ignored the costs to workers who are not entitled to paid time off when they need to care for themselves or an ailing family member. Lower-paid workers particularly have to consider whether they can afford to take time off, and for some this also means risking their job if an absence is not approved.

Additionally, Rep. Thibodeau did not consider the cost to business of having workers report in when they are sick and contagious. In fact, research shows they pose significant losses to businesses because of reduced productivity. Add in the cost of employee turnover, and businesses would actually do better financially to offer paid time off.

Paying workers to take care of themselves and their families makes particular sense in sectors such as health care, food service, and child care, but all Maine employers will benefit when this cost of doing business is shared equally.

Maine needs employment policies that make sense for everyone involved.

Working Mainers have legitimate health needs and family responsibilities.

When employers respect these, they make Maine a better place to live and work for us all.

Elizabeth Johns



Healthful cooking

When I got the paper the morning of Feb. 4, I was delighted to see the front page article, “Cooking class ‘good for the public.’” I settled into my chair with my tea to read a heartwarming story about teaching low-income folks to “cook healthful but inexpensive and quick meals using common ingredients.”

Imagine my dismay to read that the meal they were being taught to cook was Southern fried chicken on a waffle smothered in a white sauce. Where are the vegetables? At first I thought the article was a satire on the state of eating in this country, but then I realized it was serious and true.

This kind of meal is the epitome of junk food and in this era of rampant diabetes and obesity should not be served to anyone.

For less than the cost of ingredients for the above meal, and in less time, I’m sure I could cook up a delicious and nutritious meal. How about a vegetable stir-fry with carrots, onions, broccoli, garlic, over a bed of brown rice? How about a potato soup with kidney beans and kale? Throw in a little meat if you like.

I hope people reading this article won’t come away from it thinking that the only inexpensive meal they could possibly make is one full of high fat and empty carbohydrates.

Cynthia Thayer



Rethink guns in parks

As a person who understands firearms and exercises my Second Amendment right to own a firearm for personal protection and sport, I find it troubling that Maine lawmakers are putting forth LD 1737, a proposal that would reinstate the ban on firearms in Acadia National Park and the Appalachian Trail. This proposal will limit the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves while enjoying the outdoors. I understand the need for common-sense regulation in regards to who should be allowed to carry a firearm, and I agree, the open-carry of a firearm in a state park may be alarming to some.

But those people who hold a valid concealed weapons license in Maine should not be barred from carrying a firearm for personal protection in a state park. These people must attend a course that illustrates the laws and possible ramifications of carrying a firearm, and pass numerous criminal and psychiatric background checks in order to even obtain their permit to carry.

Valid permit holders are not the people carrying firearms you should be worrying about. It is the ever-increasing numbers of people who wish to do their fellow man or woman harm that make carrying a firearm an increasingly viable choice for those interested in protecting themselves. I urge Maine legislators not to pass LD 1737, and to propose common-sense legislation that increases the safety of our parks but does not infringe upon the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Ryan Michaud